The Story Behind the Cover…

hollywood-frontYou’ve seen the beautiful cover for She’s Far From Hollywood, and you might be wondering why those two people are sitting on a pick-up truck? At dawn? Was that just some random photo selection or does it really connect with the story?

Well, it definitely connects to the story. In fact, much to my delight, it reflects a very specific scene in the book. As I mentioned in Friday’s cover reveal, the Harlequin art team creates covers based on information the author provides in writing. That includes up to three scenes the author thinks would make good cover inspirations. And one of the scenes I described takes place with Cole and Bree sitting in the back (not on the roof, but I can totally see them doing that) of a pick-up, watching the sun rise over Carolina farm fields. She’s even leaning back against him, just as I wrote it.

Here’s a little excerpt from that scene. I think Harlequin perfectly captured the mood of it all, don’t you? Cole and Bree go on to have a great conversation while watching the dawn, and Bree shares a lot about her past. But you’ll have to read the book to see exactly what they have to say to each other….

From She’s Far From Hollywood (available for pre-order now):

Smack!  A hand came in loud and shocking contact with her derriere, and the dream was over. She sat up with a jolt, rubbing her butt cheek and glowering in the dark. Wait. It was still dark. Why was she awake? Oh, yeah, someone spanked her bottom and woke her. It could only be one person, and he was about to pay for it.

“Cole? What the hell? It’s the middle of the night!”

His voice next to her ear made her flinch. In the darkness, she didn’t realize how close he was. “It’s almost dawn, Hollywood. Get dressed. We’re going to go greet the sun in one of my favorite places.”

“Unless that place has a cappuccino machine, I’m not interested. Wake me when the sun is up for real.” She started to lie back down, but a strong arm wrapped around her shoulders and pulled her upright. An arm that had clothing on it. Her eyes were adjusting to the dark, and she realized he was already dressed.

“You’re not messing with me, are you, Plowboy?”

He pulled her to her feet. “Nope. Get dressed, Bree. We’re going for a little ride.”

In less than fifteen minutes, she was dressed and stretched out in the back of Cole’s pick-up, wrapped in a blanket and sipping on the hot coffee he’d filled a thermos with. They’d driven up behind Nell’s house, into the cattle pasture and up to the top of the hill by a stand of trees.

He’d swung the truck around and backed up so that they faced the eastern horizon, where a thin slice of pink was beginning to show. To the left was the small gully where Trixie had given birth to Malibu. To the right were the cattle, including that same mother and calf. They were grazing and casting curious glances to the big truck parked in their midst. Cole had thrown pillows and cushions from the cottage’s plaid sofa into the truck, so they were comfortable and warm.

“So this is a favorite spot, huh?” She was sitting between his denim-clad legs, leaning back against his chest. His arms were wrapped loosely around her with his fingers intertwined with hers. She felt him nodding against her head.

“One of them. The best morning spot, for sure. Wait until you see all the farms spread out in front of us, glowing in the dawn. It’s really something.”

“Where are your other favorite spots?”

“There’s a little swimming hole back behind my place that’s a good thinking spot in the evening.”

“The one you talked about on the tractor? Where you have bonfires?”

“Nah, the bonfire place is further up the road, where there’s room for a crowd. This is a private spot. The river has a pretty good current, so my great-granddaddy dug out a swimming hole for his boys where the water would be more still. There’s a big old tree there with a rope on it. Ty and I grew up swimming back there, and I still drive back there at night and just think.”

“You have a lot of thinking spots, Cole. What are you thinking so much about?”

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